Food prices: relief for poor mooted

Government is considering giving food vouchers or cash to poor households to help them cope with spiralling food prices.

Government is considering giving food vouchers or cash to poor households to help them cope with spiralling food prices.

"We're looking at a range of options, such as food vouchers, as well as increasing cash transfers in the case of people already on the social assistance programme," Social Development director-general Vusi Madonsela told a media briefing yesterday.

He said the government wanted to move away from delivering food parcels to affected households because the scheme was "riddled with a number of challenges" that had resulted in distribution delays.

Last month the cabinet mandated an inter-ministerial committee to develop a strategy to tackle food security.

Millions of poor South Africans have been hit hard by the escalating prices of basic foodstuffs such as bread, milk and maize.

"It might well be that in the end it will be a combination of increased cash transfers for those who are on the social assistance programme and food vouchers for those who are not," Madonsela said.

Acting Agriculture director-general Kgobi Mogajane said the removal of VAT from some foodstuffs not already zero-rated was also being examined. - Sapa

X